Copper prices to soar in 2013: Chile's national mining society

The world’s number 1 copper producer Chile said copper prices will fall in the $3.60-$3.80 a pound range this year, beating the 2012 average of $3.61 per pound.

According to data released by Sonami, the country’s national mining society, global demand for the red metal in 2013 will increase by 6.5 millions of (metric) tons, with China accounting for 5 millions tons.

Sonami forecast the country's copper output reaching 5.8 million tonnes this year, which would be a significant increase from 2012's estimated 5.4 million tonnes.

The mining group also said that Chile will attract $100 billion in mining investment in the next 10 to 12 years, a marginally longer time frame than previous forecasts, due to regulatory uncertainty and energy worries.

Sonami had formerly predicted the same amount of spending over an eight-year period, from 2012 to 2020.

While the association expect copper prices to soar, it warned its forecast is subject to the performance of the European and US economies, as well as how much of an impact China's moderate growth will have.

Copper exports for Chile, country that also produces gold, molybdenum, lithium and silver, is expected to reach $48 billion in 2013, Sonami said. While total mining exports are forecast to be around $55 billion.

(Image Copyright: Michael Rosskothen)